The New Orleans Economic Development office estimates the city’s Hispanic population has more than tripled since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. It has risen from 15,000, or 3.3 percent of pre-Katrina residents, to 50,000, or 15 percent of today’s population.
Tulane University and the University of California, Berkeley, released a 2006 study revealing that almost half of the city’s construction labor force was Hispanic. At least 54 percent were found to be illegal aliens, and 90 percent had lived elsewhere in the U.S. before migrating to New Orleans.
As WND reported earlier, News reports indicate a flood of illegal aliens is moving South from states such as Arizona and Oklahoma—where immigration crackdowns have made life more difficult for them, and the slow housing market has made jobs scarce. In New Orleans, families are multiplying faster than hospitals and schools can accommodate them.
Overcrowded hospitals and schools
The Associated Press interviewed Kevin Work, a doctor who opened new prenatal offices and hired bilingual employees so he could make a living delivering New Orleans’ Hispanic babies.
He performs “thirty to forty deliveries a month,” he said.
Work told the AP he has helped illegal alien mothers give birth to at least 1,000 babies since the storm hit in August 2005. He said he provides payment plans to help the families afford the births, or they are covered by government programs such as Medicaid.
In 2004, Emergency Medicaid cost taxpayers $1.7 million in Metro New Orleans, according to the report. Now the government program covers five times as many people, and the cost is more than 4.5 times what it used to be—at $7.8 million.
Likewise, schools are having trouble keeping up.
Director Melinda Martinez of a Esperanza Charter School, a taxpayer-funded English-immersion institution in New Orleans, told the AP her elementary school doesn’t ask about immigration status.
Soaring crime statistics
Meanwhile, the city’s streets have reportedly become some of the most dangerous places in the nation. A study conducted by Congressional Quarterly recently labeled New Orleans the most violent city in the U.S. Likewise, Foreign Policylisted it as third among its top five “murder capitals” of the world—behind only Caracas, Venezuela and Cape Town, South Africa.
Even during the city’s legendary Mardi Gras celebration this year, four people were murdered and a dozen were wounded by gunshots, according to EMS Responder. Foreign Policy reports there has also been a surge of drug-related violence since Hurricane Katrina.